My name is Tonya. I am an eating disorder “survivor” that has struggled since adolescence. I adopted the ups and downs of an emotional darkness as “it’s just me” for almost ten years before being diagnosed at age 27. Most would say my childhood was fairly ‘normal’ from the outside looking in. However, if asked to describe how I felt about myself, it would have been “not good enough, worthless, and unsafe”. My body wasn’t safe; it felt scared and trapped. At the time, I didn’t have words to describe what was happening, so I never told anyone. I was constantly comparing myself to other girls with long, skinny legs. Overtime, nothing had value outside numbers, food rituals, and excessive exercise. I became obsessed with being thin. There was no relationship as important as the one I had with my eating disorder, and no one could take that from me. When my eating disorder wasn’t raging war inside my head, I battled hopelessness and depression. Darkness surrounded nearly everything. The last straw was when I collapsed at work.
After much needed therapy and working on loving myself, I started to see myself in a different lens. I didn’t arrive at “recovered”; it took time, and a lot of self-healing. It was a process full of pain, but at the same time joy when I realized I WAS good enough. I believe God gave me my story for a reason, but it is not who I am. I am more than my illness and my recovery. I am me; I am safe; I am enough.
- Tonya, VA
YOUR MESSAGE- "Work on loving yourself"
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